Senior Dog POOPING In House?

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Senior Dog POOPING In House?

This is a discussion on Senior Dog POOPING In House? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I know whenever someone asks about a dog suddenly peeing in the house, we tell them it could potentially be an infection and send them ...

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:46 AM
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Senior Dog POOPING In House?

I know whenever someone asks about a dog suddenly peeing in the house, we tell them it could potentially be an infection and send them to the vet, but what are people's experiences with dogs who suddenly begin pooping in the house?

Bear will be nine-years-old in May, and he's been with us since he was a baby. He's always been a very soft, quiet dog. He'll never ask to go out the way Mozart will. He just holds it and holds it and hopes that someone thinks to ask if he wants to go out.

Prior to this, he'd never had any accidents in the house but for one case where he was ill, but he's pooped in the house three times in the last two weeks (never peed.) The first two cases were in the afternoon, and the latest one was early this morning. All of them were in the living room.

The poops have all been firm and normal and nothing about them makes me think that he is ill. I did recently change his food, but the first accident was prior to that, and his poops still look the same as they did then.

It's not really a big deal, but I'm just trying to figure out of this is something medical or if he just can't hold it very long in his old age. I also wonder how much of it has to do with the puppy; he's fiercly jealous of the puppy and has picked up a few new nuisance behaviours in the last few months, presumably to try to keep any and all attention off the puppy and on himself.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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My only experience with that was in MN and our senior dog didn't want to go outside in the negative degree weather - we're guessing her joints hurt too much or some suchness.

Pooping in the house doesn't sound like attention-getting behavior though. It sounds like a medical or age-related issue.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:04 AM
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Sounds like he is a little anxious, perhaps due partly to the new active puppy being around, and as a result, being an older dog, he cannot hold it quite so well.

My brother's dog had poop accidents in the house a lot in his last year of life. He was very anxious as he got older.

Maybe have the vet check him, and check his thyroid level too. Low thyroid can make a dog more uneasy.

Could also be the food change, even if his poop is still firm... it may be going through his system just a wee bit faster.

Last edited by Tess; 03-01-2013 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:13 AM
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Our dog also had problems holding in his poop when he got to be a senior citizen. It was only in his last year or so (he was 16), but some dogs age faster. It was due to lack of bowel control.

Do you see him pooping? If so, is it a regular squat or is it he is laying down, in the process of standing, or is walking and poop is coming out?
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:19 AM
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I also think age making him unable to hold it as long and/or the food processing faster is the culprit. Maybe set an alarm clock to remind you to let him out ever couple hours?

Someone on another forum had a problem remembering to let out her dog because her previous dog always told her when he had to go and the new dog did not. So she bought a clock with a digital picture feature. It has a memory feature as well so she set it for every few hours throughout the day. She put in a pic of her new dog and hasn't forgotten since.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by idealistinfire View Post
Pooping in the house doesn't sound like attention-getting behavior though. It sounds like a medical or age-related issue.
Yeah, that's what I figured. All his other attention-getting stuff (like stealing socks out of the hamper) he makes a point of doing in front of us. And it's really all just been benign kind of "look at that goofy old dog" stuff.

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Originally Posted by Tess View Post
Sounds like he is a little anxious, perhaps due partly to the new active puppy being around, and as a result, being an older dog, he cannot hold it quite so well.

My brother's dog had poop accidents in the house a lot in his last year of life. He was very anxious as he got older.

Maybe have the vet check him, and check his thyroid level too. Low thyroid can make a dog more uneasy.
He doesn't seem anxious (or at least not any more than usual,) but he has a wellness check-up soon so I'll mention it.

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Do you see him pooping? If so, is it a regular squat or is it he is laying down, in the process of standing, or is walking and poop is coming out?
No one saw him the first two times, but Dad saw him this morning, and said he was just squatting normally.

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Originally Posted by Mjjean View Post
I also think age making him unable to hold it as long and/or the food processing faster is the culprit. Maybe set an alarm clock to remind you to let him out ever couple hours?

Someone on another forum had a problem remembering to let out her dog because her previous dog always told her when he had to go and the new dog did not. So she bought a clock with a digital picture feature. It has a memory feature as well so she set it for every few hours throughout the day. She put in a pic of her new dog and hasn't forgotten since.
I expect the poor boy is probably a victim of circumstance in this case. Before the puppy came, my Mom and I both worked the same hours every day, but very shortly after the puppy arrived we both had a job change that meant different/varied work hours and thus a varied schedule for him.

It doesn't help that he doesn't like going out while the puppy is out. I have to try to make sure that whenever I put the puppy out, to come back upstairs once he's crated again to let Bear out.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:53 AM
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How long ago did the work schedule change? Maybe he will stop going in the house once he adjusts to his new schedule.

Also, could it be he doesn't want to poo where the pup is pooing and then holds it in until he can't hold it anymore? Some dogs are weird like that. Maybe take him or the pup outside on lead at the same time with rewards for going to get them used to going potty together. Or try to take them out separately and have them use opposite sides of the yard as personal potty spots?

This would be so much easier if dogs could talk and tell us whats going on!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:14 PM
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How long ago did the work schedule change? Maybe he will stop going in the house once he adjusts to his new schedule.

Also, could it be he doesn't want to poo where the pup is pooing and then holds it in until he can't hold it anymore? Some dogs are weird like that. Maybe take him or the pup outside on lead at the same time with rewards for going to get them used to going potty together. Or try to take them out separately and have them use opposite sides of the yard as personal potty spots?

This would be so much easier if dogs could talk and tell us whats going on!
In September, so not very recently. But the puppy also didn't have as much free-run of the house then as he does now.

You could be right about the yard; Bear as always had a particular spot he uses but Mozart just kind of goes anywhere.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:15 PM
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Shadow so far hasn't had a poop in the house accident, he'll pee in the house if I'm not careful. I know he's not anxious anymore (at one point he was), I think it's mild senility doing it. One night I was down on the floor with him petting him and he started peeing, no warning.

He was housetrained perfectly until the last year or two, I think he had maybe 3 accidents in 14 years, then old age hit with a vengeance and I've had to retrain myself. When I notice him getting antsy I now default to putting him outside to potty rather then thinking he's just looking for attention, that pretty much cuts down on the number of accidents he has.

If Bear spends most of his time sleeping putting him out when you notice that he's woken up may help. Otherwise I'd try looking for a pattern in the accidents and try to figure out when they are occurring. Almost all of Shadow's are around his dinner hour so I'm extra vigilant then.
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